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NASA's Artemis 1 Mission Updates

Updated: Aug 3

The launching of the Artemis 1 mission, which NASA conducted, took place on November 16th at 12:17:17 IST from Launch Complex 39B at the Space Center in Florida. This launch was delayed due to a number of problems that occurred during the fueling procedures.

After around eight minutes had passed since the launch, the engines of the core stage shut down, and the stage itself separated from the remainder of the rocket. Following this, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage began its work of propelling the Orion spacecraft (ICPS). In addition, NASA extended the four solar arrays that are attached to the Orion spacecraft.

Following the conclusion of the translunar injection procedure, Orion successfully severed its connection to ICPS and successfully reached the orbit of the moon.

The Orion spacecraft on the dark side of the Moon.

The Orion spacecraft on the dark side of the Moon. (Image credit: NASA)

What Exactly is the Artemis Program?

The Artemis program is a collection of ongoing explorations of space that NASA manages. There are presently three missions being carried out by Artemis:

  • Artemis 1, an unmanned test mission that successfully orbited the moon and got very close to the surface;

  • The Artemis 2 mission will be a crewed voyage beyond the Moon that will transport people farther into space than they have ever been before.

  • Artemis 3 is the mission that will put a woman and a person of color on the Moon as well as spend a week there doing scientific research. The United States Space Agency will conduct its first crewed lunar landing project since Apollo 17 in 1972 with the Artemis 3 mission.

However, NASA's long-term aims are even more audacious: they want to launch an eventual crewed expedition to Mars utilizing the technology and science produced during the Artemis missions. This will be accomplished using the Artemis spacecraft. The 'Moon to Mars' plan calls for the construction of a new space station in orbit around the moon and, at some point in the future, a livable facility on the moon.

Artemis 1 Mission Updates

At 1:47 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Nov 16, Artemis 1 successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center after a string of four failed launch efforts that were scrubbed due to engine problems and tropical storms. On day 5 of its operation, which was the 20th of November, the Orion spacecraft reached the sphere of impact of the Moon. This means that the Moon took over as the primary gravitational force operating on the vessel, replacing the pull exerted by the Earth.

NASA's Orion spacecraft captured new images of the lunar surface.

NASA's Orion spacecraft captured new images of the lunar surface. (Image credit: NASA)

Around day 6 of mission, which was the 21st of November, the Orion spacecraft arrived at the Lunar and did a flyby, getting as near as around 130 kilometers (80 miles) towards the surface. This will be the capsules nearest encounter.

What Exactly is this Artemis 1?

This uncrewed mission, Exploration Mission-1, is a test of the Space Launch System and even of the Orion module.

The Space Launch System represents the most powerful system ever created. When it lifts off, it generates 8.8 million pounds of thrust, which is 1.3 million pounds more strong than the Saturn V rocket that was used for the Apollo missions. It took Artemis 1 a total of 450,000 kilometers to get to the Moon, where it circled at an altitude of 400 kilometers above the surface of the moon prior to continuing on for another 64,373 kilometers into deep space.

On December 11th, after a mission lasting 25.5 days, the module is to splashed down in Pacific Ocean close to California. A wide variety of scientific and technological experiments, which will take place in outer space, are carried on board.

These are intended to broaden our understanding of the moon, facilitate additional technological advancements, and give insight on the radiation found in outer space. In addition, three mannequins, known as "moonikins" are outfitted with the First-Gen Orion Crew Survival Module spacesuit. This is the same spacesuit that the astronauts will use on Artemis 2 and Artemis 3.

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Moonikins have sensors embedded throughout their bodies to collect information on the conditions that human crew members would encounter during space travel.

Why Does it Have to be Named Artemis?

Artemis is the Greek mythical goddess of the lunar and the identical twin sister of Apollo. Clearly, this has something to do with the expedition that sent people to the Moon the first time more than 50 years ago. Similarly, Orion is the name of the manned spaceship. Orion is a famous constellation there in sky and the hunting partner of Artemis in Greek mythology.

Is There a Holdup in the Artemis Project?

NASA's original plan was for people to reach the lunar surface by the year 2024. In November 2021, the agency announced that this deadline will be postponed to no earlier than 2025. However, NASA Auditor General Paul Martin said that this timeframe will likely be pushed out until at least 2026.

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